TTC Service Changes Effective March 30, 2014

On March 30, 2014, the TTC will make changes to many routes.  In the detailed listing linked below, these are broken into four groups for miscellaneous service changes, new construction projects, route restructurings, and seasonal changes.


Construction Projects

The 29 Dufferin and 329 Dufferin Night routes will divert southbound via College, Lansdowne and Queen around water main work on Dufferin.  The interlined operation with 316 Ossington will be discontinued until late 2014 when this diversion is scheduled to end.

Reconstruction of the Gardiner Expressway will split the 501 Queen, 301 Queen Night, and 508 Lake Shore routes at Humber Loop.  The schedule will be the same one used in fall 2013 during construction on Lake Shore.  This is planned to last only for one schedule period (to mid May).

The intersection of King & Sumach will be rebuilt to add special work leading to new tracks on Cherry Street.  Streetcar service here is already diverting around the closed bridge east of River and so the construction has no effect on service.

Articulated Buses

7 Bathurst will be scheduled to use 18m articulated buses on weekdays with resulting headway widenings.  The effect is greatest during peak periods when headways widen to match the higher capacity of the vehicles.  The changes by time period are:

  • AM Peak:  6’15” to 9’10”
  • Midday:  8’00” to 9’30”
  • PM Peak:  5’30” to 7’45”
  • Early Evening:  9’00” to 10’00”
  • Late Evening:  12’40” to 12’30”

This route is already notorious for erratic service which will likely become even worse with fewer buses.  I plan to compare vehicle tracking data for this route for the “before” and “after” operations in a future article.

Other Changes

Several routes have new and/or adjusted last trip times to meet last subway trains including an allowance for the time it takes riders to get from the subway platform to the bus.

322 Coxwell and 324 Victoria Park Night Buses will operate directly through Bingham Loop.  Eastbound 322 Coxwell buses will enter the loop at the west end via Bingham and exit directly onto Victoria Park as 324s.  Southbound 324 Victoria Park buses will enter the loop on the streetcar platform from Victoria Park and exit via Bingham to Kingston Road as 322s.

Service on 36 Finch West will be reorganized by removal of the scheduled short turns at Kipling (36A) and Jane (36C), and increase of service on the renamed 36 Humberwood (formerly 36B).

The express service on 35 Jane will be split off as 195 Jane Rocket and it will operate independently of the schedule for the local service.  Because the 195 will run during periods that the 35E does not today, the headways at local stops will widen considerably during many periods.

The 52 Lawrence West and 58 Malton routes will be combined as route 52, and the 58 Malton route number and name will be discontinued.  More service will run east between Lawrence West and Lawrence Stations as a result.  Service on the 52C Culford branch of Lawrence West will be provided at all times by 59 Maple Leaf.  Service in the 52G branch to Martin Grove will continue to run via The Westway over the existing Lawrence 52 route.

The 79 Scarlett Road bus will now have split operation via St. Clair during midday service all days, and during the early evening on weekdays.  This extends a practice already used during the peak period.

29 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective March 30, 2014

  1. What’s the purpose of renaming 35E to 195? Headways on the 35E were always large, and I don’t see how renaming the line will widen the headways. If anything, they should decrease because more vehicles are being added. It’s great to see that more service is being added to this route. However, it is disappointing that more service is coming to the 195 at the expense of service on 35+.

    Crowding on the 35 bus is a huge issue, and it is exacerbated by the fact that bunching is a serious problem: it is common to wait 20 minutes at Jane Station for 3 vehicles to come at once. Bus operators usually take a break at Jane Station (regardless of the number of passengers waiting on the bus platform), and they often leave the station bunched. The terminus of a route is a great place to correct vehicle bunching, and this opportunity gets wasted.

    Several times, I have seen an operator take an extra long break at Jane Station so that the bus behind it leap-frogs, and then as soon as he is passed, he’ll leave Jane one minute later bunched behind the other bus (presumably so that he has a lighter load). Hopefully better route management comes with schedule changes.


  2. Are service levels, in general, under or at or over several levels before Rob Ford and his “customer service excellence” campaign promise of 2010?

    Steve: This is something that will require a lot of work to document on a line by line basis. What must also be taken into account is that just because the service is at the same level does not mean the demand has been static. A project for another day.


  3. Steve,

    A couple of ‘haven’t had coffee yet’ questions/comments:

    So, all 501 streetcars will terminate at Humber Loop and shuttle buses via Queensway/Park Lawn/Lake Shore to Long Branch, again?

    Also, re: King/Sumach, do we know the nature of this track intersection (i.e. partial-diamond, all possible turns possible)?

    Steve: I believe it is to be a full wye junction with curves to both the east and west.

    Sounds like they’re trying to develop demand on the “Scarlett via St. Clair” portion of the 79 Scarlett route (if I’m reading you correctly, more buses will run along St. Clair to Scarlett, more regularly than they do now).

    Having the 324 and 322 use Bingham Loop is nice. What’s much nicer is that they’ve completely reversed the looping procedure for no reason other than to confuse (sorry “distinguish”) night service from day service.


  4. “7 Bathurst will be scheduled to use 18m articulated buses on weekdays with resulting headway widenings”

    So, will hourly capacity actually change?

    Steve: According to the TTC’s table of planning capacities, the capacities of the 18m and 12m buses are 77 and 51 respectively.

    For the AM peak, the existing service runs every 6’15” or 9/6 buses/hour for a capacity of 490. The new service will run every 9’10” or 6.5 buses per hour for a capacity of about 500.

    For the PM peak, the existing service runs every 5’30” or 10.9 buses/hour for a capacity of 556. The new service will run every 7’45” or 7.7 buses per hour for a capacity of about 596.


  5. Will the branches of route 52 that are replacing route 58 be run over the same routing i.e. Lawrence-Scarlett-Dixon? Is this being done just to avoid confusion and to emphasize that both routes do indeed run the length of Lawerence West?

    Steve: The branches that run out to the airport will follow the Malton bus routing via Scarlett and Dixon Road. The 52F Royal York short turn will loop via Lawrence, Royal York, Dixon and Scarlett. The 52G Martin Grove branch will follow the old 52 routing via The Westway.


  6. Do you have any more information about the closure of the streetcar underpass exiting Humber Loop to the west? I found the notice of contract award but it doesn’t give much idea of how the work is to be done or how it will proceed – just that the expected start date is April 14, and the expected duration is 34 weeks.

    I was wondering, because there’s no evidence of a comparable need to close either of the other 2 affected bridges.

    (Aside: Anyone who gives a budgeted or forecast cost to 10 significant digits really isn’t smart enough or well enough trained (either or both may apply) to do the job he or she is doing. And an accountant who does that really should have his/her license suspended pending the completion of some remedial math courses.)

    Steve: There are two planned closures of the streetcar underpass. One in April-May, and the second in the fall (TBA).


  7. Steve said:

    Reconstruction of the Gardiner Expressway will split the 501 Queen, 301 Queen Night, and 508 Lake Shore routes at Humber Loop.

    Does this mean that the streetcar tunnel under the Gardiner at the Humber Loop is to be closed for construction activity?

    Steve: Yes.

    Steve said:

    The 52 Lawrence West and 58 Malton routes will be combined as route 52. More service will run east between Lawrence West and Lawrence Stations as a result.

    Does this mean direct bus service (a 1-seat ride) from Lawrence Station to the airport?

    Steve: Yes.


  8. The 324/322 Bingham Loop routing isn’t a change — at least not SB to WB. I have taken advantage of the 324 to 322 interlining through Bingham on a number of occasions. The only reasons I can think that it might be viewed as a change is (a) if the reverse movement didn’t used to go through the loop, or (b) if it is somehow related to the temporary suspension of the 322 back when Kingston Road was under construction.


  9. Great to see the addition of 79B to all hours and all days. This is long overdue. The city changed decades ago with removal of the CPR roundhouse and other facilities. The TTC just caught up. Retail stores cover the area along St.Clair between Runnymede and Jane and are open long hours outside rush period. Routing via St.Clair provides a faster trip to/from the subway instead of winding through narrow side streets where vehicles cannot pass each other. I understand this is being accomplished by reallocating resources rather than additional expense. In other words during the extended service period available buses will be divided between 79 and 79B just as is being done now.

    Let us hope this proves successful and results in smoothing out of headway. At present 79 and 79B often run bumper-to-bumper due to faster travel time via St.Clair resulting in erratic service. Some fine tuning may be warranted so hopefully there will be attention paid by management. Possibly a supervisor out on the line (not in an office someplace) to see firsthand what is actually happening and to smooth things out.


  10. Doors this mean both Finch West and Humberwood will share the 36 route number?

    Steve: Er, ah, Humberwood is a destination, not a route. It is now the 36B, but is renamed to 36 as this is the principal destination on the route.


  11. Given the work on the underpass and the 501 being split at Humber do you think the TTC will use this as a test to see if it is worth splitting the route again?

    Steve: No, because this does not allow for integrated operation of a Long Branch car through Humber Loop.


  12. That’s an interesting restructuring on the 52 Lawrence West but I seriously question the 12 minute AM rush hour headway on the 52G Martin Grove branch. The buses do get a decent amount of eastbound customers with the current 5’10” with all the short school traffic. By cutting service by more than half, either the schedule planner have no clue of the real situation or really wanted to have an average of 3′ headway and use the same amount of buses. Maybe most trips generated on The Westway don’t go past Weston Rd led to this new headway, but I’m pretty sure they overlooked this issue.


  13. Good to see that they are adding 3 extra ‘trippers” to the 504 King route (Broadview to Roncesvalles) during morning and afternoon rush-hours. If this is combined with stopping the constant short-turning of eastbound cars at Church and some proper route management this might deal with the really ghastly service that has been the norm on the downtown section of the 504 at rush-hours for the last few years. Maybe you “want” to do an analysis once they start this?

    Steve: I am planning to get the CIS data for several routes for March and April for precisely this purpose.

    Also re the 504 Church short turns: I am concerned that with the past winter and the acceptance that short turning is even more aggressive than usual due to snow and other conditions, the folks at the TTC will have “forgotten” what normal service looks like. There is a chronic problem with late cars on 504 (as one sample route) that needs to be fixed.


  14. Steve,

    Come later this year we should have things back to normal. I was passing by Union Station earlier and they are already decking over the massive hole that has been there for the past couple years. It looks as though Front Street will return to normal come this spring.

    Union Subway Station is coming along well too. The hoarding for the new platform is coming down bit by bit and work seems to progressing rather nicely.

    It won’t be long before the only work left is behind the scenes with all the heavy construction (walls, concrete pours, digging etc) is complete.


  15. DavidC says:

    “Good to see that they are adding 3 extra “trippers” to the 504 King route (Broadview to Roncesvalles) during morning and afternoon rush-hours.”

    Indeed! The timing is particularly useful! Westbound departures from Broadview Station at 7:56, 8:00, and 8:04. Looking at the existing departures you can see that there’s departures every 2 minutes currently from 7:16 to 7:38 and 8:14 to 8:36, but only every 4 minutes from 7:38 to 8:14. I frequently am trying to catch a 504 on Broadview between 7:30 and 8:30 … and while 7:30 is often fine, it’s not unusual to see huge gaps in service by 8:00. And when the rare car does come, it leaves many behind.

    These 3 runs should help that problem significantly!


  16. Any particular reason given for the conversion of the 35E to the 195 Jane Rocket? I personally loved the 35E because it cut my trip from Dundas – Eglinton from multiple stops to 2 stops (Woolner and Eglinton). I suppose the 195 will run all-day which will be great for passengers … but now I’m wondering if the route will be changed when the Crosstown opens.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: I don’t think anyone knows what the routes will look like when the Crosstown opens, and the idea that the TTC is somehow plotting already for that day is, putting it mildly, far-fetched. I think they just wanted to emphasize the “Express” nature of the service and break off its schedule from the main local route (with which it never meshed anyhow).


  17. With regards to the 501 service, this is typical lousy city planning. Why could the work on the Gardiner at Humber Loop not have been done at the same time as the work on the islands on the Lake Shore? Either the Gardiner work could have been done earlier or the islands done later (seeing that the longer islands are not required immediately.)

    This is one area where the city could do a lot better and do things more efficiently.

    Steve: The decision to do the Gardiner work from west to east, rather then east to west, was only made partway through last year after the work on the islands was already either scheduled or underway. But, yes, co-ordinated shutdowns would have been a good idea.


  18. Jane getting its own express (without really adding buses) is a useful political tool.

    I assume we will see 180 express routes soon? Why bother to run express buses when you can just run a whole another schedule that can completely ignore the other buses going along the route. Very convenient for hitting on time targets this.

    Steve: I will be very interested to compare the before and after behaviour of these routes and plan to get the CIS data to see how things work out.


  19. AM Peak: 6’15″ to 9’10″
    Midday: 8’00″ to 9’30″
    PM Peak: 5’30″ to 7’45″
    Early Evening: 9’00″ to 10’00″
    Late Evening: 12’40″ to 12’30″

    Is 8-9:30 really midday!’v or am I reading something wrong here?

    Steve: Midday service goes from every 8 minutes to every 9.5 minutes. Those times are minutes and seconds of headway, not hours of service.


  20. OgtheDim said:

    Jane getting its own express (without really adding buses) is a useful political tool.

    I assume we will see 180 express routes soon? Why bother to run express buses when you can just run a whole another schedule that can completely ignore the other buses going along the route. Very convenient for hitting on time targets this.

    Mississauga (MiExpress) and Brampton (ZUM) and York Region (VIVA) and Durham (PULSE) are doing this to varying degrees. Hamilton has the B-Line and Waterloo the iExpress (both of which were planned to ‘pave the way’ for LRT lines). Would it be wrong for TTC to brand their express buses as ‘Rocket’ routes and run a parallel network as long as service standards are maintained on the local network?

    Speaking from Peel … the ZUM and MiExpress buses aren’t terribly frequent but there is a strong local network so many people will take the first bus that comes. Personally I don’t mind waiting/scheduling to catch the express bus … a behaviour that I expect comes from my experience catching the 35E.

    Cheers, Moaz


  21. Jeff says:

    “What’s the purpose of renaming 35E to 195?”

    Among other reasons, it might be useful to have an express route running the entire length of Jane Street, once the Eglinton Crosstown LRT opens. Early TTC plans show Jane split into two routes with buses on both routes starting and ending in the Mount Dennis station terminal.


  22. Steve, you could always visit how different (or not) service is after the conversion of 39E to 199. As a Scarberian, I have always liked how it separates the short haul riders and long haul riders on Finch. You can try riding the 199 to see how local and express buses work on a major arterial street and see if you like it on Jane. The 199 has been running for 3 years, so the TTC must have liked it enough to run it as a separate service.

    I don’t think it is a political tool, more as a rational use of bus resources. When you run 25+ buses on a headway of 5 min or less, there are bound to be bunching problems and short turns on long arterials due to frequent stopping and running out of time. Having 10 express buses stopping at major intersections and buildings would help stream the riders to their preferred destination and prevent people fearing the bus would be short turned.

    Steve: I have noticed that the TTC keeps increasing service on the 199, so something must be going right on that route. As for the Jane services, I plan to do a before/after comparison of March and April operations (among other routes where changes are happening).


  23. Hey Steve will the 29 Dufferin bus use artics on weekends or just weekdays? Why don’t the artics operate on the 7 on weekends or even Saturday’s?

    Steve: I don’t know, but plan to inquire why the artics are only being used on weekdays at this point.


  24. Really confused as to the combination of the 52 and 58 routes. Not sure why we have to assume 1 route number for both, especially considering the 165 used to be part of the 96 and the branch numbers went all the way to K (!).

    As for the 195, are there any plans to make the entire route express or will the local section between Sheppard and York U be maintained?

    Steve: The Lawrence/Malton routes largely duplicate each other, and the major change is the extension of the “Malton” service to Yonge Street. This change operated on a temporary basis while Lawrence West Station’s bus interchange was closed.

    As for the 195 Jane Rocket, here is the official description of the route:

    195 northbound: Buses will stop at Jane Station, Dundas Street West, Woolner Avenue, Eglinton Avenue West, Weston Road, Lawrence Avenue West, Maple Leaf Drive, Wilson Avenue, Sheppard Avenue West, Finch Avenue West, Steeles Avenue West, and York University.

    195 southbound: Buses will stop at York University, Steeles Avenue West, Finch Avenue West, Sheppard Avenue West, Wilson Avenue, Church Street, Lawrence Avenue West, Weston Road, Eglinton Avenue West, Foxwell Street, Dundas Street West, and Jane Station.

    The buses will run express north of Sheppard, not local.


  25. Silly question time:

    Can it now be said that the TTC has a plan (or a goal without a plan) to replace E-branch routes with ‘Rocket’ buses? After the latest conversions of 35E and 39E how many more E-branch routes remain? How many 190-series buses are there? What happens when the 10 numbers run out?

    Cheers, Moaz


  26. As far as I can see there are 6 Rocket routes now

    190 – Scarborough Centre
    191 – Highway 27
    192 – Airport
    193 – Exhibition
    196 – York University
    199 – Finch

    and 195 makes 7. I suppose the York University Rocket may become the ‘Downsview Rocket’ when TYSSE opens, and the Scarborough Centre Rocket could be rerouted to run east of Scarborough Centre once the Sheppard East line opens.

    What other 3 (or more) corridors do people here think merit “Rocket” service?

    Cheers, Moaz


  27. It could be coincidental that the new Jane Rocket route is along a corridor originally targeted by the Transit City plan. Sheppard East already has a Rocket route. If the TTC is grooming the corridors for higher-order transit, then perhaps Don Mills and Finch West (unless they adopt Jarrett Walker’s idea of extending the 199 west of Yonge) should be the next to get the Rocket route upgrade.

    If they insist on splitting the Finch routes, give it the 197 as they’ve tentatively assigned the LRT route 7. The East-end/Downtown/Don Mills Relief Line doesn’t make an appearance yet, but presumably would take the next number in the sequence, 8. The Don Mills Rocket should be 198, although I’m not sure what to do with the 144 Downtown/Don Valley Express which does lend itself to 194.

    One nitpick that I noticed on the TTC’s built-out network implementing the new numbering system was the 7 FINCH WEST LRT. I realize they simplified the stops by only showing major intersections (Humber College, Martin Grove, Kipling, Islington, Weston and Finch West) but they forgot to include a stop at Jane!


  28. The service increases on Sherbourne over the last couple of years have been quite impressive. This change added service throughout the day, including 2 more AM peak buses with the frequency increased from 7.5 to 6 minutes. 2 years ago it was every 9 minutes and 3 years ago it was every 11 minutes!

    Mid-day frequency has improved from every 15 minutes to every 7 minutes over the last 3 years.

    The increased frequency is particularly impressive, as I’m not aware in any increase in the published TTC ridership numbers for this route! 🙂 The new George Brown building at Sherbourne and Queens Quay is likely the reason for much of this growth.

    I rarely catch this bus in rush hour, but I caught a 7:30 AM bus this morning south at Carlton, and despite the increased frequency, and everything being on time this morning, it was still difficult to squeeze on.

    With more growth planned in the Sherbourne/Lakeshore/Queens Quay area, one has to wonder how much more service will be added to this route, and when higher order transit will become necessary. Or perhaps even when they’ll simply do another stop-gap and and simply extend the Parliament bus further down Parliament/Queens Quay.


  29. Steve, I was looking at the schedule for the new 52G, and saw that it only goes from Martin Grove to Lawrence West Stn, not Lawrence Stn, as the old 52 did. What gives? Because of this change, I now have to change at Lawrence West if I want to continue east?

    Steve: The intention appears to have been to through-route what used to be the old 58 Malton services, and the tail end of the 52 Lawrence that went to Martin Grove no longer continues to Yonge.


Comments are closed.